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Physical Memory Reduction in Software

Odd question:

I have a server with umpteen gigs of RAM.  The server has 4- Quad processor 64bit Xeons, Microsoft Windows Server 2003.  Currently, it is a test environment, but the software we have isn meant for can't deal with more than 4GBs of memory.  I don't really want to remove sticks of RAM from it, nor am I sure that they are 4GB modules, so I might not even be able to physically remove RAM until I get to 4GB.

I seem remember during a server install there is an option to ignore all memory above 4GB, but I really don't feel like reinstalling the OS at this point.  Is there a way to make this change now, or perhaps another solution?

Thanks in advance,
Justicator
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Justicator
Asked:
Justicator
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1 Solution
 
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Standard server or Enterprise?  I'd use a Virtual Machine and run the app in there.  You can control the amount of RAM the VM sees and I believe the number of CPUs as well.  If you are using Enterprise, then you are already licensed for another copy of Windows in a VM, if standard, you'll need to buy one.

Otherwise, I've never heard of a way to "disable" the RAM aside from removing it.
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JusticatorAuthor Commented:
I didn't think about using VM.  Sometimes I'm way too oldschool for my own good.

It's enterprise.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Well, that should do it, I would expect.  Setup a VM and install it there.  
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oBdACommented:
Uncheck the "Read Only" flag for boot.ini, duplicate the standard line under [operating systems], add "4GB Limit" or whatever to the comment, and add
/maxmem=4096
(or however much you want to use) at the end of the line. (or use the /burnmemory switch). Then reboot and pick the "4GB Limit" entry to boot.

Available switch options for the Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 Boot.ini files
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/833721

The /maxmem switch in the Windows Boot.ini file
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/108393/
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JusticatorAuthor Commented:
VMware is out - something about the software needed mroe direct access to the hardware, etc.

The software manufacturer is insisting on taking the ram out.  Are there fundamental differences between editing boot.ini and physically removing hardware?
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oBdACommented:
If you can prevent Windows from booting if you just set the /maxmem value too low, then I'd say editing the boot.ini should have the desired effect for the software, without physically removing memory.
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JusticatorAuthor Commented:
True.  I'll get back into the ring with them, and let you know.
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JusticatorAuthor Commented:
It looks like I'm stripping RAM after all.  Thanks for all the advice!
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